Meeting Marshall Lester

Catégorie : Fashion, Fashion shows le 28 February 2011

If there is one thing for which London Fashion Week is well known, it is definitely the unlikely encounters that one can make there. As I arrived early at the Vivienne Westwood Red Label catwalk fashion show, I had the opportunity to verify directly this paradigm.

Being part of the audience was not an affair to be taken lightly because after you passed through the security control, you had to face the suspicious looks of one of the member of the public relations team towards people he didn’t know.

The arrival of the other guests, especially the front rows, proved to be a distraction much more amusing given the variety of personalities in attendance: from the fully-botoxed modern geisha to the drag queen wearing just some leather underwear, passing by the artists with a total bohemian look showing how close they were to Nature, the show was clearly on before the models even started to hit the runway. Nevertheless, the prize went to a woman who took her baby to the show and after he was a bit moved around, he simply barfed on a second-row Japanese buyer… So much for the glamorous image of fashion. The whole scene was completely surreal.

And in the midst of all this madness, a man with a serious look suddenly appeared, probably between 50 or 60 years old, and he sat next to me. Of course, I had absolutely no idea who he was but his presence aroused my curiosity: was he a journalist? A buyer like many of the people around me? He started talking to me and I was surprised to have a fashion companion who was both interesting and affable.

As I still could not find any clues that could have helped me to guess his role, I simply asked (and I must admit not without a dose of naivety) the awkward question: “For which company are you working?” I instantly understood with the amused look he had on his face that it was not the best question I had asked that night. With a lot of elegance, he took some time to answer and it is with great stupefaction that he explained to me he was involved in the launch of

Needless to say I was a bit amazed and it proved difficult for me to find something sensible to say after that. Fortunetaly, the show started and it enabled me to concentrate on something else for a while. By the way, review of the catwalk show is here.

Once the show was finished, he politely asked for my opinion and invited me to go to the Richard Nicoll show with his ticket. To thank him and show some gratitude, I didn’t find anything better to do than to give him my business card before he disappeared as he arrived, discretely, in the crowd.

Thanks to this invitation, I discovered his identity. His name was Marshall Lester.

I am well aware that this story is offering only a very limited perspective on the fashion industry but I decided to talk about it anyway because beyond my simple personal experience, it is a testimony of what fashion can accomplish: making possible the encounter of two individuals who are living in completely different spheres. But sometimes those worlds collide for a few moments – when it all becomes fascinating.

Dear Mr Lester, if one day you happen to read this, I would like to thank you for this unlikely encounter and I hope that in the future, I will have the pleasure to meet you again and maybe, this time, ask the right questions… perhaps in an interview, who knows?

The crowd of London Fashion Week  © Branding Styles

The crowd of London Fashion Week

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